Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/298

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286
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the elements. B and P are alike, excepting that B has a vocal murmur, which is wanting in P. The letters P and F present another instance of physiological consistency, the closed part of P being opened in F, as if to indicate a sound of similar formation without obstruction of the breath. The letter C exhibits the outline of the back of the tongue in pronouncing the hard sound of the letter, and the kindred letter G consistently shows an element of similar formation, but with the addition of something that is lacking in C. The letter K, a duplicate for the sound of C hard, consists of a C, angular instead of rounded, in contact with a posterior line, and thus very suggestively denotes the action of the tongue against the roof of the mouth. The letter T, in the same way, appears to denote the position of the tongue in pronouncing the sound; the roof of the mouth being denoted by the horizontal line, while the vertical line shows the upward direction of the tongue to contact with the palate.

 

Antiquity of Man in America.—"The Geological Testimony to the Antiquity of Man in America" was considered by Professor Willis De Hass, in a carefully prepared paper which he read at the American Association. After referring to a skeleton disinterred at Natchez, Mississippi, of very uncertain antiquity, and the remains yielded by the Trenton gravel formation, which he was disposed to place at even a pre-glacial period, the speaker mentioned the caverns as constituting the best sources of information as to human antiquities. They show evidences of an existence of man on this continent long antedating the mound period, and would, he had no doubt, hereafter become as celebrated for human antiquities as were the caverns of Belgium and France. He attributed the ancient copper-workings of Lake Superior to a prehistoric race, and asserted that a greater amount of labor had been performed by its miners in a space of less than two thousand acres than two thousand men working twenty years could perform in our time. All the mines of the Lake Superior region, he added, gave evidence of having been wrought by a prehistoric race. Professor De Hass did not, however, consider that the mounds and mural works of the West and South bore evidence of a high antiquity—or of more, perhaps, than two thousand years. They might be assigned to a people intermediate between the mound-builders and the Indians.

 

Ancient Cults among the Berbers of Morocco.—Dr. Haliburton, of Ontario, has taken advantage of a recent sojourn in Morocco to study the vestiges of ancient cults of Europe and Asia which are still preserved among the Berber tribes. Here he found the crude stories of the twelve labors of Hercules, of Apollo, of Minerva, of Isis and Osiris, of Belus and Astarte. Numerous observations indicated that here, too, must have been the home of the myth of Saturn and of the golden apples of the Hesperides. A very interesting part of the paper on this subject communicated to the American Association by Dr. Haliburton was the mention of many names and stories connecting these people with the Bible, such as those of the gold of Ophir, the Queen of Sheba, the land of Havilah, and of the vessels of beaten gold and silver in the temples. On the last point the speaker dwelt at length, presenting numerous brass and silver works and jewelry, made by the Shillooks in our own day. The fables of Atlas and the Atlantes were traced in the very cradle of the people themselves. The fable of the head of Medusa was traced to this place in accordance with the story of Herodotus, that it arose from the custom of the people of a certain region wearing leather trappings on their heads. Dr. Haliburton showed a leather ornament of a powder-horn with a fringed leather border, like that on a Sioux saddle-ornament, and similar to those described by Herodotus. The whole paper was full of allusions to classic mythology and Biblical story.

 

The American Indians and the Aryan Race.—"Have the Indians come from Europe?" was the subject of a paper read by Horatio Hale, of Clinton, Ontario, at the recent meeting of the American Association. After tracing the course of emigration of the leading stocks of the Indian tribes, as indicated by their languages, and the modifications they seemed to have undergone, the author remarked that the fact that the